This study examined the impact of individual, peer, family, school, and neighborhood level variables on sexual activity among 276 Haitian-American adolescents. Differences between those who were sexually active and those who were not were analyzed using Chi square and t tests. Significant factors at p ≤ 0.1 were entered into logistic regression for the full group and for girls-only. Half of males and 36.6 % of females were sexually active. The multivariable model revealed that adolescents were more likely to be sexually active if they reported delinquent behaviors; had sexually active friends; and were living with only one parent, friends or relatives. For girls, living with both parents was protective against sexual activity, while substance use and emotional distress were risk factors. No language or acculturation measures were associated with sexual activity. Haitian-American adolescents may benefit from interventions that focus on gender-specific, contextual and cultural factors to prevent early sexual activity.
Keywords: Adolescent; Gender; Haitian-American; Risk; Sexual activity.